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Volume 24 No. 117

Leagues Governing Bodies

     For the first time since late March, MLB's owners made a new
collective bargaining proposal to the MLBPA, according to this
morning's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  Randy Levine, the owners' new
chief labor negotiator, turned over the 65-page plan to the
players in a 1 1/2-hour meeting in New York.  I.J. Rosenberg
reports, "The reaction from the players was not delight.  On the
other hand, it was not anger, and for two sides typically at each
others throats that can be considered a small breakthrough."
Neither side would discuss the proposal, but Rosenberg notes it
is expected to include a "floating payroll tax based on club
revenue."  The two sides meet again next week, with a formal
response from the union likely when its executive board meets in
Florida at the end of this month (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).
One source with knowledge of the owners' plan told the N.Y. TIMES
that the tax rate would increase after clubs spent 50% of their
revenues on players salaries.  But, the source added, it also
includes "complex formulas" on how to get to that point.  The
plan also reportedly includes a trade-off of earlier free agency
for removal of some arbitration rights (N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).
MLBPA Associate General Counsel Gene Orza:  "In some respects,
there is a lot of new material in it. ... We will be doing a lot
of reading over the next few days" (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY,
Browns' move out of Baltimore as a vivid example, acting MLB
Commissioner Bud Selig has been touting the positives of
baseball's antitrust exemption.  Mark Maske examines the issue in
today's WASHINGTON POST and reports a bill to limit MLB's
exemption -- but not in regard to controlling franchise movement
-- has reached the Senate floor.  But Rep. Tom Davis, who
represents Northern VA and has worked to secure a franchise for
the area, promises to increase pressure for a full repeal.
Noting the Astros' case, Davis said MLB should be able to "force
a bankruptcy" on an owner and that the "free market" should
dictate.  Davis:  "They are not making any friends in Washington
doing that [blocking a move to Northern VA].  The antitrust
exemption is at the pleasure of Congress.  This kind of action
just encourages us to withdraw it" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/16).

     CFL Commissioner Larry Smith said the league will deal with
the possibility of losing one or all of its U.S. franchises at a
Governors meeting next month in Toronto (CP/ HAMILTON SPECTATOR,
11/16).  In Toronto, Steve Simmons writes, "Rumors abound that
Smith will be replaced if the league maintains both Canadian and
American teams, and there are stories circulating ... that he is
gone no matter what form the league takes on" (TORONTO SUN,
11/16)....The CISL's Board of Governors meet today and tomorrow
in San Diego at the annual winter meeting.  Topics:  player
compensation, length and time of season; alignment; expansion;
league-wide marketing; and the draft.  The Board expects to
review at least four new franchise applications (CISL)....The MLS
holds a news briefing Tuesday, November 21, to introduce senior
management and outline national promotions (MLS).... Noting poor
attendance in Washington and Long Island, Dave Fay writes the NHL
"is getting itself into trouble, which is what happens when you
tinker with a product a loyal following loved" (WASH. TIMES,
11/15)....In Indianapolis, Bill Benner examines the dilemma
facing IHL Commissioner Bob Ufer:  "While he talked on one hand
about a hard salary cap in the IHL and keeping ticket prices low,
he also spoke of expansion into bigger markets and forging
alliances with NBA teams" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 11/16).

     Three regular NBA refs worked the Raptors-Rockets game at
SkyDome last night, the result of a ruling by Ontario's Labour
Relations Board disallowing the use of replacement refs in the
province.  But, as Bill Harris of the TORONTO SUN reports, while
two-man replacement crews continue to work in other NBA cities,
"that might not be the case much longer."  Mike Mathis, the chief
negotiator for the refs, said after three hours of talks with NBA
officials yesterday, the officials "could have a deal with the
league as early as tomorrow."  Mathis:  "We're encouraged."  But
NBA Senior VP/Legal & Business Affairs Jeffrey Mishkin is
cautious:  "It's too early to say whether or not we are making
any progress" (TORONTO SUN, 11/16).  NBRA General Counsel Fred
Slaughter:  "I would say I'm optimistic, and anyone who knows me,
knows that that's big" (Dwain Price, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM,
11/16).  The refs are seeking annual salary increases of 19% to
20% over a three-year contract, while the league's latest offer
is an average annual increase of 8.7% over five years.  That
includes an immediate 17% increase this year.  The refs still
claim the NBA's Tuesday proposal leaves a gap of $3,000 to
$34,000 between NBA and NHL refs (AP/PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,

     St. Louis officials have asked for, and received, a
postponement of a $20M payment due the league from the St. Louis
Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) for the relocation of
the Rams.  St. Louis officials will use the delay (until November
30) to petition the league to lower the fee.  NFL Dir of
Communications Greg Aiello:  "We're willing to listen to them."
The $20M was raised from the sale of PSLs and represents the
CVC's share of the $29M Rams relocation fee.  Under the owners'
approval of the Rams' move, the Rams would pay $9M over several
years.  CVC President Bob Bedell, noting that the league imposed
no relocation fee on the Raiders:  "I don't see a difference in
the circumstances."  Bedell said there has been no decision to
file suit.  Former Sen. Thomas Eagleton, who represents FANS
Inc., acknowledged non-payment could result in loss of the team
(Lorraine Kee, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/16).
     ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER LAWSUIT:  Clayton Holmes, the Cowboys'
suspended cornerback, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Dallas
yesterday against the NFL and the NFL Management Council seeking
a temporary restraining order that would allow him to play
Sunday.  Holmes was suspended for violating the league's
substance-abuse policy.  He and his attorney, former NFLPA
counsel Grady Irvin, allege Holmes was the victim of an illegal
drug test by the Lions last year (Josie Karp, FT. WORTH STAR-
TELEGRAM, 11/16).
     DAILY JERRY JONES SIGHTING:  Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones was a
guest on "CBS This Morning," which was on location in Dallas
today.  Asked about his deals causing a chain reaction of
frnahcise moves:  "What's happening, although none of us like the
idea of clubs leaving cities -- that's not good for the NFL --
but what is really happening is that great new stadiums are being
built around the country for our game and for our teams."  While
Jones talked, CBS showed footage of Texas Stadium addorned with
the Nike logo.  Jones noted he is in favor of TV revenue-sharing,
adding that he couldn't change that if he wanted to becuase it
takes all 30 owners to approve a TV deal (CBS, 11/16).